Places for People takes the plunge into leisure centre market
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Health, Local Government
Places for People takes the plunge with move into leisure centres market
Places for People is to diversify its activities beyond housing with the acquisition of a company providing leisure facilities management to local authorities across the UK.
The property group has sealed a deal to buy DC Leisure, which currently manages around 100 leisure facilities - including swimming pools, leisure centres and gymnasiums - on behalf of 28 local authorities.
Both companies hope the deal will ensure the growth of their leisure and facilities management services, alongside other housing and development activity in communities across the UK.
Places for People is one of the UK’s largest property groups and works in 230 local authorities, owning or managing 82,000 properties.
Under the ownership of Places for People, DC Leisure will bid for the increasing number of outsourced leisure management contracts coming to the market and utilise its experience in driving leisure participation, building new centres and contributing to improving existing, and creating new, places.
David Cowans, Group Chief Executive of Places for People said: “The mutual commitment of Places for People and DC Leisure to improving places and communities was the driver for the acquisition.
“Our focus is on making places work. Whether we are involved in the creation of a new community or regeneration of an existing neighbourhood we have a long-term interest in adding value to places and providing people with facilities such as new schools, shops, leisure, and job opportunities which add value to a place.
“The roots of both companies are in working in partnership with Local Authorities and communities to create successful places and we are looking forward to an exciting future together.”
Steve Philpott, Chief Executive of DC Leisure adds: “This will be a pioneering partnership - the first time a housing provider has joined forces with a leisure provider. It’s going to be an exciting and unique adventure for us all which will create many new opportunities to improve the communities we serve.
“We are proud of our partnerships with Local Authorities and believe by being a part of Places for People we can bring even more added value to these partnerships. We attract 25 million visits each year, have built 10 new leisure centres over the last 6 years and most importantly we are improving the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve by getting them physically active.“
As part of the acquisition DC Leisure will keep its existing identity, Board, and governance structures, but operate as a subsidiary of Places for People.